My first trip to the Gynecologist

How’s that for a title? Yesterday was, in fact, my first time setting foot inside a gynecologist’s exam room. Suzy has surgery scheduled for Tuesday and the doc wanted to consult with both of us beforehand. Well, I don’t think he really gave a shit if I was there or not, but Suzy wanted me there, so there I was. This isn’t the first time Suzy’s had surgery on her woman parts, as we tend to refer to them here in the South, but hopefully it will be the last. She’s scheduled for a hysterectomy, which we’re having done to take care of some issues she’s had with uterine fibroids for several years. Apparently there’s a certain level of discomfort that folks experience when there are benign tumors the size of baseballs and golf balls growing on random internal organs. So that, along with our decision to not have kids, has led us to this point. And not without some discussion, and some fear to boot.

It took us a while to decide that we didn’t want kids, or maybe more to realize it. We’d both always thought we wanted kids when we were growing up, and even when we were married we thought we wanted kids. But over time our priorities shifted, and there was always something more important to work on, or plan for, or enjoy, and kids moved further and further into the rear-view. so now that option is going away, and it’s not without a little twinge on both our parts, but we know it’s the right decision for both of us. At this point I think we’re too old to start, even with the trend towards older parents that I’ve noticed over recent years. But Suzy’s a few years older than me, and the risks outweigh the potential at this point, and her health is paramount, so we’re moving ahead with it. And let’s face it – I’m a selfish bastard and enjoy living my life the way I want to live it, not the way some ankle-biter requires me to. And that’s not likely to change anytime in the near (or distant) future. But I will admit that it took a little while to adjust to the finality of the decision. It’s one thing when you make the decision yourself, it’s something else entirely when heath concerns take the decision away from you.

But the gene testing we did to see if she had the breast cancer gene mutation came back negative, so we’re looking at only removing the uterus, not the ovaries as well. So hopefully that will be able to be done via laproscopy, which would be much less invasive and have a significantly shorter recovery period. If they run into too much scar tissue from a myomectomy that was performed six years ago (remember the baseballs growing on internal organs? I was serious.) then they’ll have to do a full incision and that will make things more uncomfortable. We told the doc yesterday to take a look at the ovaries while he was in there, and as long as they looked normal, to leave them alone. He seemed to really want to remove them, but had no compelling arguments other than the fact that there isn’t great screening for ovarian cancer right now. I thought we should take the chance that Suzy won’t be the one woman in 80 that develops ovarian cancer, at least as long as it meant leaving as many factory-issued parts in place as possible. But I’m a non-surgery kinda guy, I don’t even like to go to the dentist, so my biases lean toward the least possible amount of cutting and removal.

The gene test coming back negative was a huge relief, because in addition to the ovary removal, he was recommending a preventative mastectomy if the test came back positive. Now on the bright side, what 40-year-old woman wouldn’t like to have a new set of boobs? But then we get back to my preference for original factory parts, and you see the conundrum. But the test says she’s no more likely to get breast cancer than anyone else, so that’s one for the win column.

But she’ll be laid up for a week or more, and unable to lift anything significant for several more, and that’s gonna seriously crimp my style. I’ve managed to avoid housework of any type for so long that Suzy has forgotten that I even know how to load a dishwasher, much less do anything more mentally taxing. This whole convalescence could screw up a good arrangement that we’ve had going. Because the last thing I want is for her to get back to full health and then still want me to do more around the house than sit on my fat ass hogging the remote. Yeah, I wanted to be Archie Bunker when I grew up, just without the racism. I pretty much got there, too. But seriously, I’ll be taking care of her while she’s recovering, and Bonnie (my sis) is coming up next weekend to stay with us and help out, so that’ll be good. I’ll be glad to have this in the rear-view, as it were, so we can get on to our Great Southeastern Tour 2010.

Yeah, that’s coming up faster than I expected. The Southeastern Theatre Conference is in Lexington, KY this year, and since Suzy has friends in Kentucky from childhood, she’s going with me. Then after the conference ends on Saturday afternoon, we’re going to take the next week to tour through the South taking pictures, seeing sights, seeing friends and generally hanging out. Our current plan is to be in Nashville Saturday night and Sunday (Spacefolks? Wanna see you!) then over to Memphis on Monday, tour Graceland and Sun Records and go to Tunica on Monday night. Tuesday we plan to drive south through Mississippi down toΒ  New Orleans and spend a couple days there. The nice folks at Harrah’s New Orleans would like for me to donate more to the local poker economy, so they’ve invited me to spend three nights at their lovely establishment. After that we’ll loop up through Alabama and Georgia and head home, hopefully getting home in time to do some laundry Sunday and get to work Monday, two weeks after we last saw our cat. This will be by far the longest road trip we’ve ever taken together, and it should be entertaining, to say the least. Adding vacation onto the end of a work trip is something I do a lot, but typically not this much. If our marriage can survive that much togetherness in a Nissan Versa, it’ll be a true testament to love. Or proof that I married a saint. One of those.

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6 thoughts on “My first trip to the Gynecologist

  1. My sister-in-law had a hysterectomy a couple of years ago to rid herself of satan’s golfballs, and she’s been completely pleased with the outcome. At least if Suzy keeps her ovaries she should have to do HRT. Good on you for going to the lady doctor with her. She’ll owe you one in about 13 years when colonoscopy time comes around πŸ™‚ And Mang and I have decided that the term “childless couple” doesn’t really suit either of our marriages. It’s so negative. So congrats on joining those of us who remain “happily child-free”. Give Suzy my best… Fingers crossed that everything goes quickly and smoothly πŸ™‚

  2. I hope this all works out for you and Suzy comes through with flying colors! Have a wonderful road trip (and I voted for her being a saint when she married your ass)

  3. All sarcasm aside, I hope Suzy does well with the surgery-VERY glad to hear Bonnie is going to be there to help her some. Having lived with a male Hartness for 35 1/2 years-not so much faith in the bedside manner of the male hartness men (excluding your Dad who I think walks on water). If there is anything we can do, call ‘ya heah?

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